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Guantanamo Bay

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NEWS
June 11, 2011 | By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday overturned an order releasing a Yemeni detainee from Guantanamo Bay and ruled that circumstantial evidence of terrorist ties can be enough to keep a prisoner. Government attorneys argued that Hussain Salem Mohammad Almerfedi stayed at an al-Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse, based on the testimony of another Guantanamo detainee. A lower-court judge found the testimony unreliable and ordered Almerfedi released, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington said the judge erred in that conclusion.
NEWS
December 30, 2010
EVER SINCE it was opened on Jan. 11, 2002, the prison at Guantanamo Bay was supposed to be where only "the worst of the worst" of the people captured during the "War on Terror" were to be detained. At one point, there were 774 "worst of the worst" being held in the compound in Cuba, but right now, there are just 174 detainees left - over the years, the rest have been released. Many had been imprisoned (and some tortured) by mistake. Apparently, they weren't the "worst of the worst" after all. In fact, a significant number of the detainees at Guantanamo were turned over to American officials by Pakistani and Afghan bounty hunters who swept up the innocent along with the guilty.
NEWS
June 8, 2004 | By Dom Giordano
When you hear the words Guantanamo Bay, the words Abu Ghraib seem to echo back. But I was in Guantanamo for three days last week, and I saw something very different. I concluded that, at Gitmo, we extract information from prisoners not by torture but by developing rapport with them. It involves amenities. Full rolls of toilet paper. Fruit baskets. A field trip barbecue. I talked to prisoners, visited cell blocks, surveyed their medical care, interviewed the base commander and chief interrogator on my show, and allowed callers to probe them with questions.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Sophia Tareen, Associated Press
CHICAGO - The federal government has agreed to buy the closed Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois for $165 million after the sale was held up for nearly three years, state leaders announced Tuesday. Many Illinois leaders - including Sen. Richard J. Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn, who spoke to the Associated Press ahead of a news conference to announce the sale - supported the purchase because they said it would bring up to 1,100 jobs to Illinois. Federal officials, including Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., have said it would help alleviate prison overcrowding.
NEWS
June 6, 2005 | Daily News Wire Services
A leading Senate Democrat said yesterday that the United States needs to move toward shutting down the military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "This has become the greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world. And it is unnecessary to be in that position," said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. A Pentagon report released Friday detailed incidents in which U.S. guards at Guantanamo desecrated the Quran. Last month, Amnesty International called the detention center for alleged terrorists "the gulag of our time," a charge Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed as "reprehensible.
NEWS
September 30, 2012 | By Rob Gillies, Associated Press
TORONTO - The last Western detainee held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay returned to Canada on Saturday after a decade in custody following his capture in Afghanistan at age 15 after being wounded in a firefight with U.S. soldiers, officials said. Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said that Omar Khadr, 26, arrived at a Canadian military base on a U.S. government plane early Saturday and was transferred to the Millhaven maximum-security prison in Bath, Ontario. The son of an alleged al-Qaeda financier, Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and was eligible to return to Canada from Guantanamo Bay last October under terms of a plea deal.
NEWS
July 18, 2005
If you're keeping score, about 12 is the number of Pentagon investigations into inmate abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Zero is the number of senior U.S. officials held accountable for conduct that mocks the Geneva Conventions and has given the United States the label of a country that selectively respects human rights. Now that the newest probe has been completed, no further "investigation" is needed to draw this conclusion: The Pentagon cannot fully judge itself on this topic.
NEWS
May 29, 1992 | By Christopher Marquis, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The United States is phasing out the use of the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba as a shelter and processing center for Haitian refugees, arguing that it has become a magnet for Haitians fleeing their country's poverty. The State Department announcement yesterday marked a continuing effort by the Bush administration to halt the exodus of U.S.-bound Haitians. In a related move, President Bush issued an executive order denying the use of U.S. ports to ships that violate the trade embargo against Haiti.
NEWS
June 21, 2013 | By Kathy Gannon and Kay Johnson, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban proposed a deal in which it would free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of its most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai eased his opposition Thursday to joining planned peace talks. The idea of releasing these Taliban prisoners has been controversial. U.S. negotiators hope they would join the peace process but fear they might simply return to the battlefield, and Karzai once scuttled a similar deal partly because he felt the Americans were usurping his authority.
NEWS
July 5, 2006
JUST WHEN you think every branch of the U.S. government is intent on shredding the Constitution, in steps the U.S. Supreme Court to save what's left of our system of justice. The court last week ruled that the extra-legal tribunal system set up by the Bush administration to try so-called "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay is unconstitutional and a violation of international law. A system that relied on torture and hearsay evidence to convict people has been stopped. For now. Some will foam at the mouth that the ruling is a victory for the terrorists.
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NEWS
June 5, 2014
THE RELEASE of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a captive of Islamist extremists for almost five years, is good news not only for his family but for all Americans. But the price the Obama administration paid for the 28-year-old soldier's repatriation was freedom for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are hardened Taliban commanders. Critics of the administration say that that price was too high, and they make three other arguments: that the exchange violated a long-standing U.S. policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists; that this country shouldn't negotiate with the Taliban because it might legitimize the group in Afghanistan; and that the swift release of the detainees violated U.S. law. Most of these arguments are invalid or overstated.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
  PHILADELPHIA Some at Guantanamo Bay have talked trash about the game. Others have watched it on tape delay in a tent during the first Gulf War. The Army-Navy Game evokes such fierce rivalry - and deep pride - that some have placed bets on it in a war zone. "When I was in Iraq, I bet a guy [in the Army] $20," said Bruce Little, who graduated from the Naval Academy in the 1970s and continued to work for the Navy. "He paid me all in pennies," Little added. "And it was hard to get pennies in Iraq.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Inside Courtroom II at Camp Justice on the sprawling Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba, eight visitors filed into a glass-protected gallery. It was a little after 9 a.m. on Oct. 22, before the start of a hearing for five men accused of plotting attacks in the United States. Jim Jenca, a 52-year-old married father of two from Levittown, took a seat in the front row. A big ex-Marine with a florid, round face, he couldn't sit still. Restless, he stood up. He put his face close to the glass partition.
NEWS
July 9, 2013 | By Donna Cassata, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Obama's hardest sell in his renewed push to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may be members of his own party - moderate Senate Democrats facing tough re-election bids next year in the strongly Republican South. Obama has stepped up the pressure to shutter the naval facility, driven in part by his revised counterterrorism strategy and the four-month-old stain of the government's force-feeding Guantanamo prisoners on hunger strikes to prevent them from starving to death.
NEWS
June 21, 2013 | By Kathy Gannon and Kay Johnson, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban proposed a deal in which it would free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of its most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai eased his opposition Thursday to joining planned peace talks. The idea of releasing these Taliban prisoners has been controversial. U.S. negotiators hope they would join the peace process but fear they might simply return to the battlefield, and Karzai once scuttled a similar deal partly because he felt the Americans were usurping his authority.
NEWS
June 18, 2013 | By Peter Finn, Washington Post
FORT MEADE, Md. - A new round of pretrial hearings in the military commission case against five men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks opened Monday at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, two months after a military judge ordered a delay in proceedings because of defense concerns about the security of their communications. Attorneys for the five detainees, including self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will argue a series of motions before Army Col. James Pohl in a slow-moving prelude to a death-penalty trial that could be a year or more away.
NEWS
June 9, 2013 | VOTERAMA IN CONGRESS
WASHINGTON - Here is how area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House 2014 Homeland Security budget. Voting 245-182, the House on Thursday approved a $45 billion fiscal 2014 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security and its 230,000 employees in seven agencies. The bill (HR 2217) increases spending for border protection, customs, and immigration enforcement while sharply cutting the Transportation Security Administration and Coast Guard budgets.
NEWS
May 22, 2013
WASHINGTON - The U.S. has identified five men who might be responsible for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year, and has enough evidence to justify seizing them by military force as suspected terrorists, officials say. But there isn't enough proof to try them in a U.S. civilian court as the Obama administration prefers. The men remain at large while the FBI gathers evidence. But the investigation has been slowed by the reduced U.S. intelligence presence in the region since the attacks, and by the limited ability to assist by Libya's post-revolutionary law enforcement and intelligence agencies, which are still in their infancy.
NEWS
May 8, 2013 | By Cynthia Tucker
Sometimes the absurdities of an official policy or action are so clear that they need not be elucidated. Such is the case with the Obama administration's maintenance of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Last week, President Obama told reporters that he intends to once again press Congress to close the facility, as he had promised to do in his first campaign. But there is no indication that the president intends to devote any of his remaining political capital to the task - any more than he did during his first term.
NEWS
May 7, 2013 | By David Dishneau, Associated Press
FORT MEADE, Md. - Government secrecy reaches a new level this week in the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst who sent 700,000 classified U.S. documents to the WikiLeaks website. A military judge, Col. Denise Lind, has ordered what prosecutors say is an unprecedented closed hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade to help her decide how much of Manning's coming trial should be closed to protect national security. An unidentified prosecution witness will testify during that closed hearing in a "dry run. " Defense attorneys say that could allow the judge to find ways to avoid closing the courtroom to the public during the presentation of classified evidence.
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